“In our July 2017 article we explained Class R permitted development rights that allow the re-use of qualifying agricultural buildings to a range of business uses. A recent enquiry from a client in a National Park is a useful reminder of how useful Class R rights can be”, says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.
“In the case of our recent enquiry, the local plan policies are very tightly drawn and only support the change of use of agricultural buildings in very limited circumstances. What our client had in mind would certainly not be supported by the local plan. However, unlike Class Q rights that allow the residential use of qualifying agricultural buildings, which do not apply in National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Class R permitted development rights do apply”, explains Dinnis.
Dinnis continues, “Class R rights are very flexible. For small scale businesses, all that is required is to inform the local planning authority that the change of use has occurred. For the change of use of larger areas there is a prior approval process that is very similar to the Class Q prior approval process and Class R rights can be used to change the use of agricultural buildings that would have qualified for Class Q if they had not been located within a National Park or an AONB. That means that Class R rights apply to any qualifying agricultural building regardless of whether or not they are still part of a working farm”.
“This case is an example of where, unless they have been specifically excluded from National Parks and AONBs, national planning policies take priority over local planning policies and where, if a decision is based solely on local planning policies, the conclusion would have been drawn that any planning application for a change of use would be refused and therefore not worth pursuing”, concludes Dinnis.
For further information on any rural planning matters please contact Brian Dinnis on 01884 214052 or at firstname.lastname@example.org